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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Who Wants Candied Hawberries?
by Dongni Bao
Age Range: Under_5
When winter comes to Beijing the streets are full of peddlers selling candied hawberries and a delicious sugary, syrupy aroma fills the air. An old candied hawberry peddler is on his normal route through Maoyanr Hutong – (which means ‘Cat’s Eye Lane’) with his cart of candied hawberries. There is snow on the ground and an icy wind. The peddler goes down several lanes but so far he hasn’t seen a single child. It’s just too cold he thinks. Now he’ll have to put off getting the prescription for his wife’s medicine again. He goes down Hutong and after putting down some fish scraps for the cats, the peddler huddles down on a step in a sunny spot, tired and dejected.
Soon a tiny shadow appears from the rooftop above and then a little silhouette approaches wanting to buy some candied hawberries. Before long lots of children start appearing and soon the peddler has sold out. When the children turn to go he sees something very strange – tails are poking out from under their coats. It couldn’t be, could it?
Written by Chinese author Donyni Bao, translated by Adam Lanphier, this is a real feel-good picture book. A magical heart-warming tale with charming expressive watercolour-and–coloured-pencil artwork by Di Wu that really captures the atmosphere of the wintery Beijing streets.